The Whole-Brain Child

Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson

The Whole-Brain Child



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In The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson provide parenting tools derived from research into how the mind works. Understanding certain neurological mechanisms can help us guide our children to better manage their emotions and to help them build healthy relationships with other people.

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Analysis and key concepts


All parents go through hard times and challenges with their children, which often make us feel discouraged and inadequate, but they are an important part of our child’s healthy development


Even the most caring parents often overlook a fundamental aspect of their children’s lives: their minds


In order to help children cope with a difficult event, we need to work on their minds and help them to integrate the right and left hemispheres of their brains


The brain is like a two-storey house: the lower floor is linked to more primitive experiences, while the upper floor is more analytical and planning-oriented


The amygdala is the part of the brain that triggers physiological alarm responses, and it is very sensitive in children


When children are in a state of intense anger and frustration, it is helpful to distract them, rather than making comments about their behaviour or telling them off


Children learn to copy adult behaviour through an imitation mechanism in the brain


The type of relationship we build with our children strongly influences how they will relate to other people


In order to improve our relationship with our children, we need to be receptive and open




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Proactively build an empowering relationship with your children. 
  • Discover solutions to many of the common challenges involved in raising children. 
  • Explore how the mind influences a young child’s development.

Daniel J. Siegel was born in America in 1957. He is a professor and psychiatrist and teaches psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, California, where he also founded the Mindful Awareness Research Center. Siegel is the executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organisation that offers courses on mindfulness and building healthy relationships. He has also written numerous, internationally-published books and scientific articles.

Tina Payne Bryson is a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She graduated from Baylor University, Texas, and received her doctorate from the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on child development and interpersonal neurobiology, a discipline that studies how human relationships influence the brain. She has written several books and holds lectures and conferences for doctors, parents, and teachers.

Publishing house:

Penguin Random House